Chesterton Tribune



NiSource tells 2Q profit of $23.2M

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NiSource Inc. is reporting a net income of $23.2 million or 7 cents basic earnings per share in the second quarter of 2018, compared to a net loss of $44.4 million or 14 cents in the year-ago period.

During the second quarter, NiSource took steps to address cash and credit matters related to federal tax reform, including a common equity block offering of approximately $600 million in May; and long-term debt refinancing completed in July, which included the issuance of $400 million in preferred stock and $350 million in five-year notes, the proceeds of which were used to acquire certain outstanding notes totaling $760 million through tender offers and redemptions.

“The actions we have taken through the first half of 2018 enhance the sustainability of our long-term infrastructure investment strategy, which is driving value for customers, communities, and investors,” NiSource President and CEO Joe Hamrock said in statement released today. “Our financing activities helped mitigate the cash flow and credit impacts arising from federal tax reform, while strengthening our credit metrics and balance sheet.”

2Q highlights:

* NiSource’s subsidiary NIPSCO is currently awaiting an order from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on the settlement of its natural-gas base rate case, the first filed by the company in more than 25 years. Under the terms of that settlement, an average residential customer would see an overall increase of approximately $8 per month, instead of $10 as originally proposed. Included within the overall bill change would be an increase in the fixed monthly customer charge from $11 to $14, which is also lower than proposed. The expected annual increased revenues of $107.3 million would be used to invest in system upgrades, technology improvements, and other measures to increase pipeline safety and system reliability.

* NIPSCO is also waiting for the IURC to approve a new seven-year gas modernization program which would pursue approximately $1.25 billion in infrastructure improvements through 2025. NIPSCO has invested more than $400 million in the previously approved program since 2014. The new program, like the old, is funded through a tracker known as a Transmission, Distribution, and Storage System Charge. The IURC has yet to approve NIPSCO’s pending tracker request of $54 million covering investments made in the second half of 2017 under the current modernization program.

* NIPSCO continues to discuss its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan with stakeholders in order to meet customers’ long-term electric energy needs. In November 2016, the company announced a plan to retire 50 percent of its coal-fired operations by 2023, and under that plan Bailly Generating Station Units 7 and 8 were duly retired as scheduled in May.

* NIPSCO continues to execute its seven-year electric infrastructure modernization program, representing approximately $1.25 billion in investments through 2022. This program is also funded by trackers, and the IURC approved the latest tracker request in May, covering $75 million in investments made between May and November 2017. In July the company filed an update request with the IURC seeking a semi-annual incremental rate decrease of $10.6 million, due primarily to the pass back to customers of a $14.1 million base rate refund for January-May 2018 related to federal income tax reform.

Q2 Operating Income

* Gas distribution: $39.1 million ($43.7 million in the year-ago).

* Electric: $82.4 million ($85.6 million in the year-ago).

* Corporate and other: an operating loss of $3.1 million (an operating loss of $5.3 million in the year-ago).

* Total: $118.4 million ($124 million in the year-ago).


Posted 8/1/2018




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